What a contradiction — close to God yet far away! How could this happen? The Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14 had possibly spent a lifetime learning about God. He had dedicated his life to the pursuit of holiness. Yet, what had all this produced? He had become confident in his own righteousness. He compared himself to those who had not been so zealous for right living and felt like he was superior. He fasted twice a week, a practice copied by some very dedicated Christians. He tithed on everything, not just the Old Testament requirement to tithe on profits. He was a spiritual super hero, at least in his own mind. Yet he forgot one thing. To God all our good deeds do not clean up a filthy act (Isaiah 64:6). Humility about our filthy state does impress him.